Demographic, clinical and psychological characteristics of patients with self-harm behaviours attending an emergency department of a tertiary care hospital.

Abstract

Understanding the characteristics of those with self-harm behaviour may help in identifying those at risk and providing targeted interventions to this group of patients, especially in the emergency services. The present study aimed to compare the suicidal intent, hopelessness, severity of depressive symptoms, and personality traits of those with and without psychiatric disorders, presenting with a self-harming behaviour to the emergency setting. For this, patients presenting to the emergency department of a tertiary care hospital with self-harm behaviour were evaluated for presence or absence of a psychiatric diagnosis, suicidal intent, personality traits, depressive symptoms and hopelessness by using structured instruments. The present study included 132 participants. The mean age of the sample was 28.7 years and the male: female ratio of 1.28:1. At least one psychiatric diagnosis was present in 41.7% of the sample, depression and substance use disorders being most common among them. Impulsive suicide attempt was present in 40.2% of the sample. Those with a psychiatric diagnosis were more likely to be older, males, married, have higher suicidal intent, more planned attempts and higher depressive symptoms as compared to those who did not have a psychiatric disorder. Impulsive suicide attempters had lower suicidal intent than non-impulsive attempters. Present study suggests that those presenting to the emergency with self-harm behaviour comprises 2 interrelated groups, differing on certain demographic features, severity of depressive symptoms, suicidal intent and impulsivity.

DOI: 10.1016/j.ajp.2016.01.006

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Cite this paper

@article{Grover2016DemographicCA, title={Demographic, clinical and psychological characteristics of patients with self-harm behaviours attending an emergency department of a tertiary care hospital.}, author={Sandeep Grover and Siddharth Sarkar and Ashish Bhalla and Subho Chakrabarti and Ajit K. Avasthi}, journal={Asian journal of psychiatry}, year={2016}, volume={20}, pages={3-10} }